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Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

The last time I posted, I imagined my hiatus would be indefinite.  Indefinitely long.  Claire was increasingly interactive and on-the-go, leaving me less time to prepare meals.  Even more, though, her little teeth were cutting through at an alarming rate, which meant she was eating chunks of solid food.  Hoping to simplify my life and not have to cook separate meals for Claire and the rest of the family, I went back to basics and cooked “simple” meals that all four of us could enjoy: steamed or roasted vegetables, lightly dressed pastas, stock-cooked rice, and lots and lots of baked, broiled, steamed, and pan-fried fish.  Yes, my little girl loves fish.  I took a break from reading other blogs and websites for recipe inspiration and focused on what the four of us needed.

Toward the end of the year, we headed abroad on vacation.  Since then we’ve been trading off viruses and colds…. and continuing to subsist on simple dishes.  Nothing worth photographing or blogging about; no real “recipes” to leave for the kiddos.  It wasn’t until a chance conversation with my internist that I began thinking about Rice Kernel again.  A chance conversation in which I discovered she was a food blogger herself.

Slowly I began purusing my favorite blogs and food websites again.  Claire and Rice Kernel keep me ever-busy these days and it’s unlikely I will post as frequently as I used to.  But I will, as much as I can.  After all, Claire deserves some more variation in her ever-increasing diet. 

In celebration of all the sweet citrus trees in the neighborhood of late, a cake worthy of frosting, whipped cream, or a cup of tea with breakfast….

Orange Lemon Olive Oil Cake

orangeoliveoilcake

Ingredients

Butter for greasing pan
2 citrus fruits (2 oranges, or 1 orange and 2 medium lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
Scant 1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat, half AP)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Grate zest from fruit and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until zest is evenly distributed in sugar.
  3. Halve orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup; you’ll will have about 1/4 cup. (If you have less, you can juice the lemon.) Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs and olive oil.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together flour(s), baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ones. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.

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Teddy’s Apple Cake

Teddie’s Apple Cake
Adapted very slightly from The New York Times, Jean Hewitt, and Teddie

Serves 8

Butter for greasing pan
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups peeled, cored, and thickly sliced tart apples like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
Vanilla ice cream (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.
2. Sift together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts and raisins and stir until combined.
3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before lifting out. Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

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With some extra red bean paste in our fridge, I thought about the classic pairing of green tea and red bean and turned to this simple dessert.  This dense cake may look light, but it is decadent with the addition of cream cheese and butter (or oil).  A cup of freshly brewed green tea would be the ideal accompaniment.

Green Tea Pound Cake

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened or 1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil (see photo differences; oil is less fluffy on top)
1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar, depending how sweet you prefer
1/2 pkg. (4 oz) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 cup all purpose or white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp green tea powder (for baking)
1/2 tsp salt

optional 1/2 cup red bean paste to layer in the middle or top, or swirl

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 1 min. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat an additional 5 min. or until very light and fluffy. Add cream cheese; beat 1 min. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, green tea powder and salt. Add to butter mixture. Beat 1 min or until well blended. Pour batter into greased and floured 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes.

Nondairy version, from Cotton and Cloud

3 medium eggs
100g cane sugar
140 g sunflower oil
40 g soya milk (I used alpro soya)
180 g self-raising flour
2 tsp maccha powder

  1. Turn on and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Sift the flour and maccha mixture once.
  3. Mix the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk for 10 min until white and flully (pic 1).
  4. In a small jug, mix the sunflower oil and soya milk using a spoon so that you get a nice emulsion (pics 2 & 3).
  5. Very slowly drizzle the oil and soya milk mixture to the batter made in step 1. If possible keep on whisking (if not, add a little, then mix – repeat this process).
  6. When you get a nice fluffy even mixture of eggs, sugar, oil and soya milk (wet ingredient), stop mixing. Sift the flour and maccha powder (dry ingredient) into the batter. Carefully mix using a scraper not to burst any air bubbles.
  7. When you have mixed the dry and the wet ingredients so that there are no powder to be seen in the mixture, pour the mixture into the cake tin.
  8. Even out the surface by lightly tapping the bottom of the cake.
  9.  Bake at 180C for the first 8 min then reduce the temperature to 170C and bake for further 25-30 min or until the skewer comes out with small crumbs of cake (if it doesn’t then it is definitely cooked so take it out of the oven quickly to prevent it from drying).

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Pumpkin Banana Bread (Low-fat)
makes one (8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf)

Instructions

1 medium very ripe banana, mashed (I put mine through a potato ricer)
1 cup pumpkin purée, homemade or canned
1/4 cup canola oil
1 extra large egg
2 extra large egg whites
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon groundginger
pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350º F.  Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the banana, pumpkin, oil, egg, egg whites, sugars, vanilla, and vinegar.  Using a hand held mixer, beat on low speed until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry just until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 45-60 minutes.  Place the loaf on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Invert the loaf onto the rack and cool completely.

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Pumpkin Corn Muffins

My beloved corn muffins, with a touch of the season’s most ubiquitous flavor and color.  If you prefer a dessert-like muffin, as we do, use the recommended amount of sugar.  If you prefer a less-sweet corn muffin or are serving these alongside something more savory, you can reduce the amount in half. 

Pumpkin Corn Muffins

Ingredients

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons melted butter or oil

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 12 muffin cups. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sguar, egg, milk, pumpkin, and butter.
  3. Combine the two mixtures and stir until blended. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.

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